Friday, July 16, 2010

Home Again!

I'm back home after a busy week in the Dallas area. I must admit, I was surprised at how much I liked Dallas. I could easily live there. It's very modern and clean and definitely has an urban vibe. Love it. This was the view from my hotel window. We stayed at the Nylo Hotel which is boutique hotel. The rooms feature concrete floors with concrete and brick walls. Funky bathroom. Hanging egg chairs. I loved it! The earliest we finished up at night was 9pm so I came home today and slipped into a coma. I'll probably be up all night as a result.
Inspired by Terri at Quilternity who blogged this week about her Grandmothers gorgeous afghan, I thought I'd pull out some pillowcases my Grandmother embroidered. I knew they need some attention but I really don't know what to do.
A bit of a back story, my grandmother died before I turned 8 (which was 40 years ago). I am the only one of my siblings that really remembers her. I remember is her sitting in a chair in front of a big plate glass picture window and crocheting doilies. She has one of those metal TV dinner trays set up to hold her supplies. I have a few of her things which are my most prized possessions. I always think that she's smiling down at me as I explore my hobbies as she quilted and crocheted. I think know she'd be happy!
Now for the part where I need your help. There are black spots on some of the linens which I can only assume is mold since I live in Florida. The whites have also gotten dingy. So how do I get this cleaned up without damaging the crocheted edgings, the embroidery or the linen? I could google but I think personal experiences would give me better direction.
I think this crocheted edging may need to come off as it feels like it may have shrunk a bit. I'm thinking of dampening it and then seeing if it stretches a bit.
These have been stored in a cedar chest (not touching the wood) for the last several years. Is this a bad/good thing to do? What is the best way to store linen? These items are just too precious for me to not take care of them.

I'd love to see your special treasures!


Anonymous said...

I love your Grandma's pillowcases.

You might Google cleaning antique linens and see what you come up with.

The hotel looks very interesting. I love the pool area. Very modern!

Sharlotte said...

Hmmm...not real sure about this problem. Sounds like you might need to seek advice from Heloise or Martha Stewart.Seems like this would be up their alley.I don't know if lemon juice could be used or not since the cases aren't completely white. My grandmother used bluing . She had pillowcases that were embroidered and some that were not. I don't know if she used the bluing on those that were or not. Might ask around at your local quilt shops to and see of they have anyone that could help with the preservation as some will have a name on hand of those that restore quilts and so forth and may have some insight for you. Good luck!

imquilternity said...

Your trip sounds like it was quite exhausting, but I loved the view from your hotel window.

Your grandmother's pillowcases are quite lovely little treasures. She did beautiful work and had a good sense of color too. I've talked with many people who have had wonderful luck with Oxy-clean on old linens. They soak them overnight and it seems to brighten/lighten the whites and remove any stains that are present. It also does not damage the color at all. I would certainly test it on a small spot, before I would trust it on my precious linens though. I'm sure you'll get some great ideas, but good luck whatever method you use.

Linda said...

Your treasures are that... treasures! I own none, though I remember my grandmother having all these things. Just this week I purchased an old original Aunt Martha's transfer with the "His" and "Her" pillowcase embroidery. I plan to make them. How ironic that you'd have such a timely blog post!

Years ago I saw Mark Lipinski on Alex Anderson's TV show. He shared his recipe for age spots on quilts. You might give this a go on your linens.

Age Spots on Quilts: To brighten colors and remove age spots and yellow discoloration from quilts, combine 1 gallon of water and 1 quart of buttermilk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Soak the quilt in this liquid and hand-wash with a mild soap for a reconditioned bright quilt. The natural ingredients are safe with no danger of damaging the quilt.

Tonya's Sewing Room said...

that hotel sounds quirky and cool...i have no idea about the linens....i found one similar to that at a thrift store a few weeks back, it's so pretty

Simone de Klerk said...

Wow, great hotel!
And such lovely memories you have of your grandmother. She is happy and proud to have a grandchild like you!
Sorry I can't give you any tips concerning the black spots and the crochet work.
Have a lovely and restful weekend.

Margaret said...

A boutique hotel, huh? Sounds interesting and unique! Too bad the business took so long -- definitely too exhausting! Hope you're feeling recovered.

Your grandmother's pillow cases. How special is that? I'm glad you have those memories of your grandmother, and her lovely things that she made. I'm afraid I'm not good at giving advice on things like this though. But I'm going to try to remember to check back on the comments. I'd love to know the answers to your questions. Good luck!

Carol said...

Welcome home, Jackie--sounds like you had a very successful trip.

Boy, did those embroidered pillowcases bring back memories--I used to make them for my mom when I was in high school (think she still has them tucked away in her linen closet in NY). Wish I could help you with restoring them, but I'm sure someone out there in blogland will have so ideas!

Cille said...

For the mold/mildew, take a Q-tip and dab a little hydrogen peroxide on it, that should remove it without damaging the material.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home!

Your pillowcases are a lovely heirloom. You might try soaking in Oxi-Clean to get out the spots. Storing in a cedar chest is fine. Get some archival acid free-tissue paper to put in between the folds. that should keep new spots from forming.

Littlebit said...

Oh, what a treasure you have there, indeed. I really hope you can get those spots out, but I haven't a clue what to tell you!

We lived in Dallas for 7 years, and other than a couple of my kids being there and a couple of favorite Tex-Mex restaurants, I don't have to return. I couldn't take the traffic again like that after living in the heartland. Glad you had a good trip!

Barb said...

I just love the pillow cases...but I don't know how to help you???

Susan said...

You can soak your antique linens in biz and it is safe. I am not sure if it will remove the mildew but Martha of Sew Beautiful uses this method with her antique clothing she finds all over the world. She has a free e-mail news letter and she talks about this method. If you sign up for her e-mail she will tell you all about it and you can send her specific questions and she might be able to help with this. Good luck.

Annie said...

What a funky-sounding hotel. Who woulda thunk it in Dallas!

A great collection of keepsakes from your grandmother. Really preserves the memories. I don't know much about restoration, so I'll leave out the tips. You seem to have gotten some good ideas from others.

Mylene said...

A beautiful view of the place you stayed.

What lovely treasures of your grandmother's linen. I hope somebody can help you how to remove the mold.

Vals Quilting said...

Hi Jackie, yes it's me Val, I know it's been a while, I'm catching up on my blogs that I LOVE and of course yours is on my list:)
First I LOVE your hotel, it's so perfectly me all modern and contemporary (yes the same meaning I know) but it's truly me!
Second, your linens, I loved my grandma so dearly, she's been long gone now and died the weekend before I married - she is someone I think about so very often. She taught me how to iron but she was left handed suffice to say I still can iron left handed. She also was a quilter but by the time I came around she was so busy with all of us Grandkids (I think) that she never quilted around me. She always had embroidered pillow cases on her bed that we (her and I) would press and starch before they were put onto the pillows - always crisp pillow cases at Gran's. I still to this day press and crisp my pillow cases even for our holiday trailer.
One thing you may try to use to get those cases clean is Orzo soap, it's a super lightweight but effective soap for stitchery, embroidery and so on. You can purchase it from Pet supply companies I think - I've had mine so long now I'm not sure anymore :) But only clean them if you plan to do something with them like add them to a quilt - perfect idea!!
ps sorry my comment is so long :)

Lois said...

What lovely treasures the pillowcases are Jackie. I don't think I can add to any of the ideas you been given on cleaning them.

Looks like a great hotel you stayed in last week!

Nancy said...

I love your grandmother's pillowcases! Vintage embroidery has so much charm. I don't have any suggestions on how to remove the mold - sorry.

The hotel you stayed in sounds like a blast!

Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

Sounds like a fun hotel. I've only cleaned linens from the thrift store and that don't hold any meaning to me. I've used oxyclean spray on the stains and then soaked them in water and they came out. I wasn't worried about them getting ruined though.

Suzanne said...

I alos have lots of both of my Grandmother's and Great Grandmother's linens. I store all of them in a camphor wood chest and they have stayed in excellent condition. To remove stains from old linen, you need to be very careful as sometimes the stains have damaged the fabric. I wash mine by hand using pure soap flakes. Stubbourn stains can be treated with a little lemon juice and then leave them in the sun for a little while. The sun lightens and sometime completely bleaches the stains without damaging the fabric. You then need to thoroughly wash the lemon juice out. I hope this helps.

Candace said...

I wish I had some of my grandmothers embroidered pillowcases! These are gorgeous! Without reading the other commenters, there is something called Quilt Wash that is sold at some quilt stores - I wonder if that would help remove the stains? Good luck!

Teresa said...

You shawl is absolutely beautiful! If I thought I could come even close to making one that pretty, I would be knitting away right now.

I have some pillowcases my great aunt made, and they have4 the same brown spots. I'll be watching to see how yours comes out.